The Athletic update their top 10 pound-for-pound rankings

Canelo Alvarez v Sergey Kovalev

With the boxing world changing and belts switching hands a lot, there has always been the question in boxing of, if a certain boxer was put in the ring with another certain boxer, who would win?

Would it be the smaller, more agile fighter who can slip punches and throw them with speed and accuracy, or would it be the big man who can throw punches that, when they hit you, feel like you’ve been hit with a full-speed train?

While there’s no actual scientific evidence to determine who would win in a bout between a massive one-hit wonder or an agile fighter, pound-for-pound rankings are still made up by experts who analyse every part of a fighter’s way of boxing.

Currently, Canelo Alvarez sits at the top of the rankings, for The Athletic that is anyway, and can this even be argued? Stats often don’t lie, and Canelo currently sits on 52 wins, two draws and one loss - a crazy record.

His record is made a little more remarkable when you realise he has been champion of the world in four weight divisions. Alvarez, the reigning middleweight world champion and arguably boxing's biggest star, moved up 15 pounds and two weight divisions and won a world title in a fourth division to join some of boxing's all-time greats on November 2, 2019.

Despite Canelo really being the undisputed best pound-for-pound fighter at the minute, that isn’t the main story as far as The Athletic's pound-for-pound rankings go, as Tyson Fury has been put in sixth on the list.

After Fury’s boxing masterclass against Deontay Wilder in their second fight, he is widely regarded as the best in the heavyweight division and has shown on numerous occasions that he isn’t just a one-hit wonder, as he looks to outbox other fighters and do it with minimal fuss.

The full list, according to The Athletic, is as followed: 

1. Canelo Alvarez, 53-1-2 (36 KOs)

2. Vasiliy Lomachenko, 14-1 (10 KOs)

3. Terence Crawford, 36-0 (27 KOs)

4. Naoya Inoue, 19-0 (16 KOs)

5. Errol Spence Jr., 26-0 (21 KOs)

6. Tyson Fury, 30-0-1 (21 KOs)

Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury

7. Oleksandr Usyk, 17-0 (13 KOs)

8. Artur Beterbiev, 15-0 (15 KOs)

9. Manny Pacquiao, 62-7-2 (39 KOs)

10. Juan Francisco Estrada, 40-3 (27 KOs)

With Fury sliding into sixth, it sees him pass former cruiserweight champion Oleksander Usyk. Not many boxing fans would disagree that Fury is a better pound-for-pound fighter than Usyk, however, with Fury being at sixth and being one place in front of Usyk, that means that the Ukrainian is at seventh, and that is almost daylight robbery.

Usyk at the pinnacle of his career in the summer of 2018 held the WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO titles, making him the first cruiserweight in boxing history to hold all four belts at one time.

Despite vacating his belts in March 2019, that doesn’t by any means mean he has lost it, he remains a force to be reckoned with, and a force that not many want to fight.

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